Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Back Surgery AGAIN!

My partner Gregg has had three back surgeries to date, the last one was in May of 2014.  He now has to go in for yet another one.  Too look at him you wouldn't realize how much pain he is on a daily basis....he's a big guy and goes to the gym regularly.  At this point he has to do that because due to the nature of his degenerating discs, nerve impulses are blocked to certain areas.  The last three surgeries were on his lower back, and his right leg has atrophied to where it is visibly smaller than his left.  This surgery will be on his upper back, as the same thing is starting on his arm.  He created a Go Fund Me to help with the cost, as the out of pocket is upwards of $15,000 after the insurance payout!  If anyone would like to share the link around the Intertubz, I pasted it below.

Thanks all!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

2014 Phoenix AIDS Walk

It's been a while, there's school, growing, karate, swimming, lots of fun stuff.  Sabrina's next endevour is the 2014 Phoenix AIDS Walk which takes place on Sunday October 26th.  If anyone would like to donate to a great cause and help her help others, follow the link below.  Thanks for thinking about us!

Sabrina's AIDS Walk Donation Page

Thank you!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Jesus Wept

"Jesus Wept," -- Mike Huckabee, former governor and current sad faced person.
"Knock it off Homos!"--Mike Huckabee

While today was a day of celebration for a lot of the country as DOMA was defanged and Prop. 8 fell thanks to the Supremes (Diana Ross notwithstanding), there was also a great gnashing of teeth and general drama queenliness from our nutty friends on the right wing.  You'd think we changed the name of the country to the United States of Fabulous.  While Gregg might be counted in the camp that was disappointed in the outcome (he's now one step closer to fulfilling his proposal of 1997 to me, even if I have to drag him kicking and screaming down the aisle), I thought I'd take some time and give some space to those who aren't so happy on this historic day.
  1. Mike Huckabee
    You'd think someone named after a cartoon hound dog would have more of a sense of humor.  He's informed us that when told of the verdict today, "Jesus Wept".  Well of course he did!  Tears of joy.  Because now if the Christs ever decide to settle down in that little place on the California beach I'm told they've had their eyes on, Jesus can rest assured that his two daddies will be able to receive all the federal benefits they are entitled to.  Ding dong, Do I hear wedding bells?
  2. Catholic Bishops
    Cardinal Timothy Dolan lamented this tragic day for our nation, and that we don't know the difference between a man and a woman.  Well of course I know the difference, especially after that regrettable drunken night in 1992.  (Sadly, I'm not a gold star gay) Then again it's understandable that the Church is against marriage equality.  After all, Cardinal Dolan would have to make an honest woman out of Archbishop Cordileone, and (s)he's a terrible cook.
  3. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM)The National Organization for Marriage, whose goal is to stop marriages (?), was deeply disappointed.  Use to gloating over victories and crushing the dreams of families for years now, they didn't quite know how to react.  “There is a stench coming from this case that has now stained the Supreme Court,” said Brian Brown, the organization’s President.  You just know he was thinking back to last Saturday night and, well, Santorum.
  4. Glenn Beck and Rand Paul
    The Clown Prince of Teabaggery and Rand Paul's real hair joined forces today to denounce the marriage equality decision.  Glenn, as usual, is focused on the Muslim problem.
    "If I’m a devout Muslim, I come over here and I have three wives, who are you to say if I’m an American citizen that I can’t have multiple wives?”.  Who indeed?!  Beck didn't let the fact that this decision was about same sex marriage and has nothing to do with polygamy stop him, because, well, Muslims.  Rand Paul, taking a break from holding a flag on the top of Mount Rushmore, shook his head in agreement.  “People take it to one extension further — does it have to be humans?"  Oh SNAP!  Does it indeed!  At any rate, it would at least need to be something that could sign a marriage contract, like the Cowardly Lion (clearly gay) or that annoying map from Dora the Explorer.
  5. Michele Bachmann (R-The Old Testament)
    The girl with kaleidoscope eyes chimed in with righteous indignation today as well.  
    “No man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted”.  To which her butch husband Marcus shouted out "H to the E to the double L yeah!".  He then asked Michele not to wait up for him tonight as he'd be busy bringing Jesus to a homeless shelter called The Cockpit.
"Oh Michele, you send me!"
The more perfect union desired by our founders took one more step forward today.  I'm envious of my gay friends in states like California who are now enjoying all the benefits of marriage they deserve, but in a good way.  It looks as if marriage equality is not only here to stay but will be expanding very quickly.  For ourselves, our kids, and our humanity, I'm glad for that.  Now let's get to work!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day 2013

Growing up, I always remembered on Father's Day it was Dad's day to just relax while everyone else did all the work.  If you're a two dad family with a four year old, doing that would result in starvation, a crying child, and charges of neglect.  So we had to get up and make breakfast, dress and feed the kid, clean up after the dogs, cater to the whims of a four year old, etc.  In other words, it's a Sunday.

We did however receive these precious gifts to hang on the door to our room.  Following tradition they should share a lovely message, like "Go Away" or "Leave Me Alone", but these are nice too.  If you look closely, you can even see what appears to be a chef of some sort rushing to deliver a loaf of Father's Day bread.  At least I think that's what that is...

With this production quality, Nike will be contacting us any time now.
Giving us these gifts put the biggest smile on Sabrina's face.  I think she loves giving presents more than getting them.  To a father's eyes, something like this will always be better than whatever we get once she's grown and has a job.  OK maybe not better but at least more special.  I'm counting on her getting a really good job, so...

We may not be the perfect fathers; our parenting skills lie somewhere between Robert Young on Father Knows Best and Lord Darth Vader, but our little family works just fine.  Happy Father's Day everyone!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Saturday, May 25, 2013

BS of America

Happy Memorial Day Weekend everyone!  Hope you're enjoying the great weather (if you have it) and starting off your summer right.

"I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member"...Groucho Marx

While a lot of America is busy fawning over the Boy Scouts for repealing their ban on gay kids who want to join, I'm not impressed.  I'm glad the kids are welcome now, don't get me wrong.  Kicking out a teenager because for having the courage to admit who he is to himself and others isn't in line with the Boy Scout credo.  He shouldn't be kicked out, he should get a merit badge for bravery, honor, and truthfulness. Since Bear, Wolf, and Bobcat are already taken maybe it could be a Bee.

Imagine sewing this on your chest.
No, the problem I have is with still banning adults as Scout Leaders. The underlying truth around the debate isn't about being "morally straight" or living your life according to Boy Scout rules, it's about molesting children.  That's the real reason gay men are not welcome, because of the fear that they will sexually molest the kids.  It's like we all have merit badges in pedophilia.  The truth is, the majority of child predators are not gay men.  Are some of them gay?  Absolutely.  But abusing children, boy or girl, is not "gay".  In fact, most abusers are straight in every other aspect of their lives.  The Boy Scouts have a history of covering up their molestation scandals going back over fifty years, and this has been the subject of a lawsuit or two.  It's no surprise that the majority of Boy Scout groups are sponsored by religious organizations who have threatened to pull their support if gays are allowed to join.
Which would be a shame after all the work they put
into their ultra straight image
While it's true I have a daughter and not a son, how do you let your kid join the scouts when you can't participate as well?  I guess you have to explain that while you've spent all your time as a parent teaching your child about the value of families and that discrimination against anyone is wrong you then have to figure out how to tell him why you can't be a Cub Scout leader.  That will be a fun conversation he should write down so he can reliably repeat it to his therapist later in life.
Gays don't want to change the Boy Scouts any more then they want to change the Church when it comes to getting married.  In fact gay men have a lot in common with the Boy Scouts already.  For instance, the colored hankies...
Bruce Springsteen, eat your heart out.
Camping out in the woods...
Lions and tigers and bears...Oh My!

And of course our love of the flag...
And of smiling
I was a Cub Scout back in the day.  I don't remember a lot of what we did; I know we made a lot of candles.  We kept dipping strings in pots of melted wax.  It took forever to make one candle.  No wonder the Scentsy people charge so much.  I guess it prepared us for something.  I wasn't really that into it and I stopped after two years.  That was when they said they were changing our name from Cub Scout to Webelo, and I felt it was just too ironic to stay.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Back of the Future

"Daddy, why are you putting machines in our house?"
"I'm not putting machines in our house; this is the pump for your fish tank's filter and I'm cleaning it.".
"What does it do?"
"It cleans your fish tank."
"And does it protect us in case robots come?"
"Uh, yes, it cleans fish tanks and protects us from robots."
"OK great job Daddy!"

Instead of mundane tasks like cleaning fish tanks and preparing for the coming robot invasion, I should be spending this week helping my husband recover from his third back surgery in a dozen years.  The first two were related to disc herniation; this one will be for spinal stenosis.  Gregg has suffered from chronic back pain for years, and as much as he doesn't want to have this procedure done, it's really the only option left.  The surgery was originally scheduled for this past Friday, but was cancelled last minute due to blood pressure issues.  It will occur in the next two to three weeks as long as all goes well.  As much as we both wanted to get it over with, there are a few events that are happening this month Gregg really wanted to attend and now he'll get to do so. 

The first was Sabrina's "graduation" from Starfish to Seal at Swimming School.  She's really doing great there, and that makes us feel good.  As I wrote in one post a while back, Arizona has a terrible record for child drownings, and good swimming skills can be a life saver.

The second was a coming home party some friends hosting for the adoption of their second child.  She's a beautiful little girl, and we're so happy to see our friends complete their family.  Hopefully, we won't be far behind.  While Sabrina is used to swimming with us or her grandparents, this was the first time she was allowed to be in the pool by herself.  It was great to be able to sit there and watch her jump in and swim with her friend Kaitlyn, also four, and see them both put their skills to the test.  (Admission: I did take my phone out of my pocket just in case I needed to jump in.  I knew I wouldn't have to, but...)

So instead of a weekend of recovery, it was one of family and fun.  And not, thankfully, ruined by an invading army of robots.

Enjoying a robot free afternoon

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


When it comes to our adoption website, we get many contacts but we get few contacts.  What I mean by that is there are three types of emails we've been getting: Legitimate contacts by women thinking of adoption for their unborn children, Scams where people are just wanting money, and scams from people who have nothing better to do then, well, scam.

We got this message from a woman named "Candy Cane":

hello there i am a young mother who has found that i can no longer take care of my baby girl and need help to find her a good home the only thing is she is 11 months old if you think you can help and if you would like maybe we can talk about me giving you a new baby as well email me back thank you and god bless
We don't even bother to respond to these types of messages anymore.  At first glance the first part doesn't seem so bad, until you get to the end and see that not only can she make your dream of being a parent come true right now with no waiting, but don't put that checkbook away there's more!  We can talk about another new baby as well.  Now I don't know if she just wants money or just to get people's hopes up, but we've seen this email about 20 times between both adoptions.  Think the "Nigerian Lottery" scam is annoying in your inbox?  We've gotten emails from Nigeria where they just change the words "lottery winnings" to "newborn baby".  We passed on helping two sets of orphaned twins get out of Russia with "little to no paperwork or hassle". 

We have spoken to a few people we think are legit; they didn't work out.  We are speaking to someone now, but it doesn't seem like it's really going anywhere.  That's OK.  When it happens it will happen.  If it doesn't, well we'll get through that as well.

Scammers are sometimes pretty good at what they do, and I've heard stories of people getting strung out by them for weeks or months.  In one case I know of they actually met and only found out later the woman was not even pregnant.  You have to be able to keep your guard up, and your heart locked away.

I think, just as the last time, when we connect with someone we'll know it's right somehow.  We'll know because we'll build a relationship, foster a committment, and if all goes right, expand our family and hers.  And we won't need to go to Nigeria or Russia. 

Just in case Russia is an option

Friday, May 3, 2013

Can You Hear Me Now?

Hello?  Is this thing on?

A little dusty in here.  It's been a while since I've posted.  I haven't been in much of a sharing mood I guess.  Some of you have emailed to encourage me to start back up again and I think I may be ready now.  I can't just sit down and write a post to write a post; I have to want to share that energy and use Blogger as an outlet to do that.  And I have to feel that need.  Admittedly I have what's known in medical terms as "a big mouth" so to keep it closed for almost a year is definitely an anomaly for me.  But you can all take your lives off "hold" now, I'm back to fill your heads with much needed knowledge.

Problem is, when you've been out for almost a year, how do you start back up again?  No one wants to read a post that goes on forever to catch up on events.  I toyed with posting "First some stuff happened, followed by some events, and also more stuff" but that seemed a little brief.  Being from Long Island and raised on Billy Joel, I asked myself, "WWBJD?".  I decided crashing my car into a light post wasn't a good idea, so I went with the second option of compressing the last year into verse.  So here are the topics I would have blogged about if I felt like blogging all of the last year.

If you want to avoid an ear worm, stop reading now!  Otherwise, the official musical accompaniment to this entry is Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire". Don't say I didn't warn you.

Home study is done again,

Paperwork and checks are in,

Web site’s new,

Pictures too,

Waitin’s what we hafta do.

California’s ocean blue,

Visit Mom and sisters too,

Adoptive Dads,

Birth family’s glad

Best reunion that we’ve had!

Tight tee shirts in hurricanes,

Vanderbuilt’s mom’s maiden name

Cooper’s gay,

What the hey,

Who didn’t know it anyway?

Growing up in little bites,

You can tell by what she likes,

Elmo’s out,

Mickey’s in,

Jake and pirate brethren.

Court fights with Obamacare,

Tea Party shouts “Hey not fair”,

But it’s a sin,

When Doc’s missin’

In the greatest land that’s ever been.

15 years for B and G,

How, well that’s a mystery,

I love you babe,

Perhaps someday,

We’ll do it in a legal way.

Waiting can be kinda rough,

Contacts have been pretty tough,

Adoption scams,

Breaking plans,

Gritting teeth and wringing hands.

Came home sad and hugged the kid,

Awful what a mad man did,

Kiss her face,

Keep her safe,

Make the world a better place.

Santa really big this year,

Filling us with Christmas cheer,

Had a blast,

But it will pass,

How long will the magic last?

Now the girl is turning four,

Not a baby anymore,

Phonics rules,

Learning tools,

Doing great in swimming school.

A year and we are waiting still,

Contacts almost down to nil,

It’s taking long,

We go on,

New baby hurry come along.

There.  You're all caught up now.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tar Heeled

I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate the great state of North Carolina for narrowly preventing itself from being wiped off the map in a fit of biblical justice by today voting to ban same sex marriage.  By amending their constitution to define marriage as "one man one woman" they have successfully avoided God's wrath.  Hurricane season is due to start in a few months and would have been a convenient excuse for a good Ol' Testament ass whoopin'.  “Marriage remains an essential social institution which unites men and women to provide for the reproduction of the human race and to provide mothers and fathers for children," Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council smirked said.  Noting that children are never born to unmarried partners and without marriage they wouldn't have mothers or fathers, North Carolina voters have ensured the survival of the Human Race.
FRC Spokesmen Peter Sprigg (l) and Tony Perkins (r).
North Carolina has always followed biblical principles since being admitted to the Union in 1789 and settling into present day 1952.  Building a solid foundation using bible approved slave labor, the state is home to many historic sites such as Kitty Hawk where the Wright brothers made the first airplane flight.  They were proud of North Carolina right up until its citizens burned them as witches.  And who can forget their brave struggle for liberty and free labor in the War of Northern Aggression?

Raleigh, circa 1820.
This new amendment has far reaching effects.  By making marriage the only legal relationship qualifier in the state, it strips domestic partnerships from gay and straight couples alike.  Melissa and Libby are two moms in a domestic partnership with a 5 year old daughter.  The girl is covered under Libby's health insurance, but since she can not legally adopt her and that partnership is now void, that child may no longer be covered.  Many other families ("families" as the FRC calls them, always using scary quotes) will now be in a similar bind.  Besides the fact that current adoption laws in many states prevent a significant number of children from finding loving homes, marriage inequality ensures they are not adequately protected in numerous ways.  (I'll post about our recent failed second adoption soon.  I've been quiet about it but I'm ready now.)  But the main thing is discrimination apparently keeps Jesus happy.  As Pat Robertson rightly pointed out to the city of Orlando, uppity homosexuals mocking God by going to Disney World during Gay Pride is flirting with disaster:

"I would warn Orlando that you're right in the way of some serious hurricanes, and I don't think I'd be waving those flags in God's face if I were you, This is not a message of hate -- this is a message of redemption. But a condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It'll bring about terrorist bombs; it'll bring earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor."

Imagine a place where men prance through the streets in tights and people in outlandish costumes flaunt garish makeup.  And that's Disney before the gays even get there!  If a city can be destroyed by one day of Gay Pride, think of what would happen if the gays got married!

Notorious gay marrying dinosaurs meet their doom.
Now, sidestepping the fact that God is a single father who runs a successful publishing company (#1 best seller of all time whoot whoot!), he still makes time to get into politics.  And that's why we love America, because even though we have a constitution that never mentions marriage or gays at all, we always have the bible to fill in the gaps.  Tonight North Carolina makes us proud to live in a country where all men are created equal (wink wink) and the ancient Israelites would be happy to call home.

Dyke free since 2012!

*If I didn't write this post, I wouldn't be able to sleep tonight.  Writing is a good outlet for anger, and I'm so stinking mad right now I had to have a release.  Yeah, it's a bit snarky.  All I know is we have a little girl who deserves to be as protected by her government as the kids next door, and right now she isn't.  We may both be her legal parents, but our family falls short legally in too many other ways to make us comfortable.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Oh Gurl...

Sean Harris, Sr. Pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, N.C.:

"So your little son starts to act a little girlish when he is four years old and instead of squashing that like a cockroach and saying, 'Man up, son, get that dress off you and get outside and dig a ditch, because that is what boys do,' you get out the camera and you start taking pictures of Johnny acting like a female and then you upload it to YouTube and everybody laughs about it and the next thing you know, this dude, this kid is acting out childhood fantasies that should have been squashed.

Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch. Ok? You are not going to act like that. You were made by God to be a male and you are going to be a male. And when your daughter starts acting too butch, you reign [sic] her in. And you say, 'Oh, no, sweetheart. You can play sports. Play them to the glory of God. But sometimes you are going to act like a girl and walk like a girl and talk like a girl and smell like a girl and that means you are going to be beautiful. You are going to be attractive. You are going to dress yourself up.'"

Well he has a point about one thing.  If you let your son run around in a dress as a child, there's no telling what kind of horrible future may be in store for him.

Work the runway sweetie...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Day We Met You

As parents, we all have fond memories of the day our children were born.  But many adoptive parents have a second memory to cherish--the day they met their children.  Adoptive families are created in many ways, but for us and for the community of friends we have, open agency adoption was the method we used.  We were chosen to be Sabrina's parents by her birth mother K. about 6 weeks before she was born.  As we created our plan for her birth and contact beyond, K. offered to bring us into the delivery room with her to experience the event and to be the first to hold her.  (I can't say enough the respect, admiration, and love we have for this amazing woman.  She gave us something no one else on the planet could have, and did so with love for Sabrina at the forefront of her decision.)  Timing, never one of Sabrina's strong points, was not on our side as we got the call that "It's time!" two days early at 9 PM and we couldn't leave until the next morning.  Even if we left for L.A. immediately, the entire thing was over in about 2 hours anyway, so there's no way we would have made it.  Add to that our nightmare drive and we didn't get to the hospital until that afternoon.
So we met our girl when she was about 18 hours old on April 19th, 2009.  Today is our "3rd Anniversary" of becoming a family.  Our relationship with K. is still very strong (she loved yesterday's bouncy house video) and though she will always have that sadness inside her, she tells us it's balanced by the happiness she has for us and Sabrina.  Adoption is joyful, sad, fulfilling, and bittersweet all at the same time.  Adoptive parents and birth parents both experience the full gambit of these emotions at one point or another.  Today we concentrate on joy, and are grateful for K. and for those who helped us along the way.  Today reminds us of how lucky we are.

(The fact that I'm typing this as our carpets and furniture are being professionally cleaned reminds us that we also adopted messiness, but hey, you get the whole package.)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Whine Cheese

Chuck E. Cheese--corporate
mascot and anti-Christ finalist
As a gay man, I'm used to seeing things taken from gay culture and going mainstream when deemed cool and nonthreatening enough to do so by straight people.  The phrase "Drama Queen" comes to mind.  Techno music used to be fun to dance to until straight people discovered it and started playing it at basketball games.  Clay Aiken.  But I'm starting to realize it works both ways.  As a parent, I'm pulled relentlessly towards the mainstream on a regular basis.  Sometimes it's cool, sometimes depressing, and sometimes horrifying.  I had such an experience last week, when invited to a parental ritual straight people have been going to for years: a child's birthday party in a pizza encrusted level of Hell known as Chuck E. Cheese.

Sabrina and I attended this event on our own; Gregg stayed home as he was not feeling well.  I found out later it was because he was invited to Chuck E. Cheese.  I'd been to Peter Piper Pizza before, where kids run around eating pizza and playing rigged games with tokens in exchange for tickets redeemable for toys that fall apart on the way home.  Moderately tolerable, I figured this couldn't be much different.  Walking in, the first thought that entered my head was "You're gonna need a bigger boat..."

Hardened pizza crusts littered the floor.  Children of all sizes were running around seemingly unsupervised, spreading multicolored snot from their fingers on every available surface.  A dull hum of ever present noise spiked by random screams and laughter filled the air.  Technically a restaurant, I didn't smell any food.  Just the scents of sweaty children and despair. The atmosphere was a combination of Walmart and a crowded Motor Vehicle Department.  Looking down, my worst fears were realized:  Sabrina was smiling from ear to ear.

In the middle of the "restaurant" was a giant plastic Habitrail suspended from the ceiling and meeting the ground with slides and climbing tubes.  "Daddy Sabrina goes on the slide," she said as she began tugging me toward it. 
"Not yet Sabrina, first we have to find Aaron and tell him Happy Birthday".
Here begins the first minor meltdown.  Telling her she could go on the slide after we saw Aaron fell on deaf ears.  She continued to scream for the slide until she saw the rocket ship ride.
"Rocket!  Rocket!"
I already regretted this and we hadn't even been there for three minutes yet.

We found Aaron's mother, apologized for our screaming fit (although we did blend in with the rest of the action), took our cup of tokens, and headed out into the fray.  Since the rocket ride was the most recent outrage, we headed there first.  Finally, smiles as I buckled her in, I gave a hearty "Here we go!", plunked in the token, and watched as nothing happened.  Great.  OK, I added another.  Blast Off!  Or not.  Still nothing.  I wasn't wasting another one, so I played up the virtues of the slide to keep the protest to a minimum as I unbuckled her.  As we walked to the slide she shot daggers at me while we watched some future astronaut blast off in the now working rocket ride.

Sabrina climbed up into the giant tubes with gusto.  Looking up at the maze hanging from the ceiling, I realized I could soon be squeezing my ass through it as I hunted for a screaming child lost in its recesses.  As I looked through one of the maze's few plastic window panels I saw a little girl on the other side licking it.  Mental note: See if Dr. Allen can be convinced to administer a shot for plague, or at the least, cooties.

After twenty minutes of breathing what I assumed was a mist of germ infested air inside the giant tubes and sliding down the dingy slide, it was time to sit down to eat.  The menu consisted of slabs of "pizza" and fried happy hour food that looked like it was past its sell date but still edible due to being encased in a thick shell of fry batter and oil.  I opted for what they were calling the Salad Bar.  Knowing that many kids won't eat their green vegetables, Chuck E. Cheese's ingenious solution was to serve only yellow and white vegetables, like broccoli and lettuce.  (Yes, you read that correctly.)  There were some rubbery carrot sticks you could tie into pretzel shapes, and a giant bin of crushed hard boiled eggs.  I didn't get any of those as the person in front of me covered some lettuce with heaping ladles of egg, topped off with rivers of thousand island dressing.  Too much for Rachel Ray, but not quite up to Paula Dean standards.  I decided to skip lunch.

Back at the table, Chuck E. Cheese was making his grand entrance.  This is birthday served assembly line style, as Chuck entertains six parties at a time, all crammed into the same area.  He was surrounded by teen aged workers who clearly didn't want to be there.  The only one smiling was the pre-recorded video host, who prattled on about how all children love Mr. Cheese for his cool dancing moves and mostly flea free mouse attire.  Mr. Cheese must have taken a hit of d-CON before he came out because he seemed pretty stiff, offering jerky, uncoordinated twitches they said was "dancing".  The kids ate this stuff up.  My dull headache was spreading behind my eyes.

After a middle aged man dressed in carnival attire who looked remarkably like John Wayne Gacy plopped some more ice cream down in front of us, we pretty much knew it was time to go.  Aaron opened his gifts, the kids all clapped, and Chuck went back to his lair.  Soon after, a teen aged kid with dark circles under his eyes and exhibiting jerky uncoordinated twitches came out.  I dragged Sabrina, now screaming for another rocket ride, out into the sunlight.  "Daddy, can we go see Chuck E. Cheese again?" after she calmed down.

"Maybe another time, sweetie."  Another time indeed.  I'm not sure how another visit with "Chuck E." could be more horrifying.

The original Chucky pales in comparison.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Defy Gravity

Last week was Gregg's birthday, and I was actually able to keep his present a secret at least until a few hours before I gave it to him.  He's a big fan of the Wicked books which tell the behind the scenes story of the witches of Oz.  So we got my sister to baby sit our own little munchkin and went out to dinner and to see Wicked the Musical, which was playing it's national tour in Tempe.  If you've seen it, you know how wonderful it is, and if you haven't, well, get on your broom and get to the theatre before someone drops a house on you.  We had a great time, and believe it or not it was the first night we'd gone out together without Sabrina since she was born.

Wicked focuses on Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, and tells her origin story and the story of Oz from her point of view.  I won't be giving anything away when I say there comes a point in the play where she has to make a life changing decision right after she gets bitten by a radioactive spider realizes her power and becomes "The Witch".  She has to choose between compromising her principles and doing what's expected of her or following her instincts and doing what she feels is right regardless of the consequences.  This happens at the Act 1 finale where she sings "Defying Gravity".  The song comes as she gets her broom and learns to fly, but is also a metaphor for her taking her leap of faith and steping off into the unknown with only her determination and morals to lift her up.  It's a very inspirational scene.

I've been thinking of about this all week.  How have I tried to "defy gravity" in my life?  I guess by living an openly gay life, by taking a risk and moving to L.A. for a few years, maybe even by becoming a parent.  More importantly, I want Sabrina and our future child to "defy gravity" in their lives.  As a parent, it might not be an easy thing to support.  Perhaps I'll be at odds with their ideas.  Maybe I'll want to protect them and keep them safe.  Who knows.  But I want to think that when the time comes for my kids to make their own decisions I'll be there to support them even if I'm not necessarily in agreement.  I know how we're raising them.  I know the values we're imparting to them.  I know we'll encourage them to dream big.  When they come to me and tell me what their dreams are, I hope I'll have the courage to look them in the eye and say "Go--follow your dreams.  And defy gravity".